Soluble Carbon – Trust Your Sources!

by Todd Scott

Humic acid is a group of powerful natural substances that are very complex and impossible to replicate synthetically.  All humic acid products are derived from leonardite deposits that have formed over millions of years, yet the humic acids have not broken down or leached out into the water table, because they are extremely insoluble and inactive in their natural state.

One problem with leonardite ore, (insoluble humic acids), is they are very low in chemical and biological activity.  For leonardites to provide a response to a plant or provide benefit to the soil, the fulvic and humic acids must be activated through chemical process.

Not all leonardite-based products are the same, and understanding the differences make a major difference in effective turf management.

Once raw source leonardites are converted into water soluble humates through specific chemical reactions, all the humic and fulvic components are biologically active and play important roles in plant and soil health. The goal of carbon inputs is to promote soil microbial diversity.

In their soluble form, fulvic and humic acids can readily chelate nutrients, prevent nitrate leaching, enhance root development, improve soil moisture content and overall turf quality. 

Because of their strong ability to complex and chelate nutrients in plant available form, the nutrients intensify the plant’s metabolism and stimulate the soil’s natural activities.

Leonardite that has been properly extracted in a non-destructible process and has been chemically reacted enables soluble humic and fulvic acids to reduce the amount of fertilizer historically required to maintain optimal plant quality.

Because leonardites match the structure of natural soil humus and can increase soil organic matter, it is an obvious benefit to any soil.

The basic raw ingredient in Redox’s Rx C-85 is leonardite, reacted in a proprietary process that involves both alkaline and acidic processes. to solubilize the organic fractions of the material.

Once the alkaline process is finished, the product is then run through a further series of reactions where surfactant chemistry is introduced.  It is these reactions that allow Rx C-85 to have a broader pH range of activity.

I talk to golf course superintendents all over the world, and when discussing using humic acids, they say, “Well, they are all the same, right? I have been using this one source for years.” Then I ask if they have seen an ability to reduce your nitrogen inputs.  I also ask if they have seen any thatch reduction. If not, you might want to question the quality of the source of humic acid you are using.

Extraction of leonardite ore and putting it through a series of chemical reactions takes time, money, heat and pressure.

Trust Your Sources!

Todd Scott
Hometown: St. Louis, Mo. Background in Agriculture: 36 years in the Golf Course industry Schooling: College/Major: B.S. in Plant & Soil. From Southern Illinois University at Carbondale Passions/Hobbies: Camping, Hunting/fishing/ Golf What is your favorite thing about Redox? Sustainable products that not only feed efficiently, but improve soil biology at the same time.
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